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Edward Pearce

26 July 1990
A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... Two images of Quintin Hogg suggest themselves. Perched upon the horsehair seat known as the Woolsack is the Lord Chancellor, hands clasped at the top of his walking-stick, tricorn hat sitting on his full-bottomed wig. On such a formal occasion he looked totally a man of the 18th century, so much did the face ...

Smart Alec

Peter Clarke

17 October 1996
Alec Douglas-Home 
by D.R. Thorpe.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 540 pp., £25, October 1996, 1 85619 277 6
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... no place like it, no race like it, Alec would hardly have let the family down, amid the hubbub of a leadership contest which turned the coroneted head of another contender, the once and future LordHailsham, by unmasking him as nothing more than a professional politician out of the chorus line in Iolanthe. D.R. Thorpe’s reference at one point in this engaging new biography to ‘the ...

Diary

Clive James: Lord's Day

7 February 1985
... wasted. Helping to make the broadcast a surprise were one’s expectations, which could not help but be dire. Somehow the idea had got about that it was a lively moment in the House of Lords when LordHailsham bounced up and down on the Woolsack, and that in the normal course of business there was nothing to be heard from the buttoned red leather benches – pictures of these had been seen in the ...
17 December 2015
... went on to display such hostility to the firm that the Court of Appeal set aside his judgment. A complaint to the newly set up Office of Judicial Complaints resulted in a public reprimand from the lord chancellor and the lord chief justice, who stated that a firm line had now been drawn under the issue and that the judge enjoyed his full confidence. Whether Mr Justice Peter Smith continues to enjoy ...
27 July 1989
Macmillan. Vol. II: 1957-1986 
by Alistair Horne.
Macmillan, 741 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 333 49621 3
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... are documents almost as tainted and self-serving as memoirs, and Macmillan in his diary was certainly not writing for himself alone but for future historians. In the summer of 1963 Macmillan had sent LordHailsham to Moscow to negotiate the final stage of the treaty to ban nuclear tests. As Minister for Science, Hailsham had not been the obvious choice for such an assignment. But that same summer ...
13 November 1997
Lord HailshamA Life 
by Geoffrey Lewis.
Cape, 403 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 224 04252 1
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... historic figure. He comes into the history books as the victorious pro-Munich candidate at the famous Oxford by-election of 1938, is Under-Secretary for Air in Churchill’s Government by 1945, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of Suez, the head of various other ministries, Tory Party Chairman and, for a record 12 years, Lord Chancellor, formally the country’s highest office. (The Lord ...
16 April 1998
Whatever Happened to the Tories: The Conservatives since 1945 
by Ian Gilmour and Mark Garnett.
Fourth Estate, 448 pp., £25, October 1997, 1 85702 475 3
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... an even more distant third. Given his premises, this makes sense; but it is not a judgment one frequently hears. He is very ambivalent about Macmillan, whom he obviously cannot forgive for conjuring Lord Home out of a hat in 1963. Also striking is his dislike of Harold Wilson, who is, broadly speaking, depicted as having debauched British politics by an almost singular lack of principle. Indeed, in ...
20 March 1997
Why Vote Conservative? 
by David Willetts.
Penguin, 108 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026304 7
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Why Vote Liberal Democrat? 
by William Wallace.
Penguin, 120 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026303 9
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Why Vote Labour? 
by Tony Wright.
Penguin, 111 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026397 7
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... by it. Over the last half-century, Penguin have intermittently filled this kind of slot, beginning in 1947, when they commissioned the Labour MP John Parker and the Conservative MP Quintin Hogg, now LordHailsham, to produce books of a couple of hundred pages each. ‘When the manuscripts were received,’ the publishers were forced to reveal, ‘it was found that while Mr Parker had kept closely to ...
23 July 1987
An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... In a recent letter to the Times, Lords Hailsham, Drogheda, Carrington, Goodman and Weinstock, and Messrs Roy Jenkins and James Prior, said they felt it was a good time, in view of the new publicity about the Ward case, to place on record their ...
6 June 1985
The Conservative Party from Peel to Thatcher 
by Robert Blake.
Methuen/Fontana, 401 pp., £19.95, May 1985, 0 413 58140 3
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Westminster Blues 
by Julian Critchley.
Hamish Hamilton, 134 pp., £7.95, May 1985, 0 241 11387 3
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... attempt to exclude the Catholic James from the succession to Charles II, with the rivalry between the Younger Pitt and Charles James Fox, or with the battle over Parliamentary Reform in the 1830s – Lord Blake prefers the second of these – it is evident that the two parties arose simultaneously. They have not shown equal powers of survival. Whiggery has long disappeared, though 20th-century ...

When should a judge not be a judge?

Stephen Sedley: Recuse yourself!

6 January 2011
... does somebody else’s cause become the judge’s own? When the judge has a private interest in that person’s prosperity, plainly. The case which set the tone in Britain, in 1848, involved the then lord chancellor, Lord Cottenham. Cottenham turned out to hold shares in the canal company in whose favour he had decided a case brought by a litigious solicitor named Dimes, who had bought a piece of land ...

Diary

Michael Stewart: Staggeringly Complacent

6 June 1985
... be confounded. All this can change very quickly: therein lies much of the fascination of politics. Meanwhile we are stuck with a government whose behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre. There is LordHailsham – such a venerable member of the Cabinet that even Mrs Thatcher can apparently not bring herself to pension him off – engaging in a rearguard action to preserve the privileges of part of ...

Subduing the jury

E.P. Thompson

4 December 1986
... number of peremptory challenges allowed to the defence had already, in 1948, been reduced from 20 to seven. In the Criminal Law Act of 1977 they were further reduced to three. Meanwhile, in 1973, the Lord Chancellor, LordHailsham, by an Order in the law vacation, had struck out the ancient practice of listing the occupations of jurors summoned onto the panel. Two further measures were taken in the ...
8 December 1994
Years of Hope: Diaries, Papers and Letters, 1940-62 
by Tony Benn, edited by Ruth Winstone.
Hutchinson, 442 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 09 178534 0
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... peerage should loom large on Benn’s political horizon as soon as he recognised that he had a potentially successful political career ahead of him. His concern was shared by others, notably LordHailsham, and some of the most interesting entries reveal Benn’s relationships with sundry Tory leaders who were interested in the House of Lords question. R.A. Butler was particularly forthcoming, his ...
5 December 1991
The Constitution of the United Kingdom 
Institute for Public Policy Research, 128 pp., £20, September 1991, 1 872452 42 6Show More
A People’s Charter 
Liberty, 118 pp., £7.99, October 1991, 9780946088393Show More
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... for changed rules: i.e. the arrival of the milder John Major should dampen the desire for constitutional reform and a non-Conservative majority next year should kill it off. Do we not remember that LordHailsham, who had warned us against ‘elective dictatorship’ in the dark days of Jim Callaghan, forgot all about this danger in the ten years when he was Lord Chancellor? The Constitutional ...

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